Compare and Contrast Essay

Diplomacy is the practice of carrying out international relations among states through peaceful means such as discussing alliances and treaties. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 founded the first modern diplomatic congress, apart from establishing a new world order in Central Europe founded on nation sovereignty.  The introduction of modern diplomacy brought certain changes to Europe. France under Cardinal Richelieu pioneered the modern method of conducting international relations; it was founded on the nation state basis and inspired by the national interest as its critical purpose (Kissinger, 2012). The new world order spread and began to blossom in most parts of Europe.  Renowned realists, such as Machiavelli and Francesco, argued on the theory of the balance of powers that is a necessary element of modern diplomacy. Many could contend that diplomacy was a creation of society and history. As nations advance, diverse aspects are supplemented to diplomacy. Nation's sovereignty, separation of powers and national interests are some of the aspects that complemented modern diplomacy (Kissinger, 2012). Therefore, diplomacy is a very dynamic concept because international relations between countries vary.


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Both the Regulation of 1815, the Havana Convention of 1928 and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 codify the ambassadorial immunity into diplomatic law. Equally, the Havana Convention and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations have a closely interrelated treaty. In the Vienna convention, it is called the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations while that of the Havana Convention is known as the Convention on the Consular Agents. Both covenants state that the diplomacy officers may lose their immunity when acting outside the official functions. In both pacts, the immunity of the officers shall extent to their family members. In both covenants, the host nation has a mandate to provide communication facility to the diplomacy officers for communication with their governments; Article 15 of the Havana Convention and Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations grant this right. Both the Vienna and the Havana Conventions stipulate inviolability of the diplomats’ premises, excluding any law enforcement authority from entering and interfering with their premises, including those belonging to their families, and imposing upon the receiving state a duty to protect the diplomats from any kind of intrusion, interference of their peace and damage of their premises. The provisions are found in Article 22 of the Vienna Convention and Article 14 of the Havana Convention. Both the Havana Convention and the Vienna Convention provide for the safeguard of the diplomats from both civil and criminal jurisdiction, even though these immunities can be relinquished by the sending countries. In both covenants, the diplomatic officers are exempted from taxation of any kind, including customs duties.


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The Regulation of 1815 relates to European states only. On the other hand, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 is an international treaty framework on diplomatic relations between independent nations. The Havana Convention of 1928, in its turn, is a convention between the governments of the republics; its principles are generally accepted by all nations. Of all the conventions, only the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations has been established within the framework of the United Nations through the International Law Commission. The process of codification was similar to that of international law.

The primary goal of the Vienna Congress was to establish an everlasting peace following the wars resulting from the French Revolution. Their aim was to retain the old boundaries and also resize the leading powers and balance for the sake of maintaining peace and stability. On the other hand, the Havana Convention was founded on the following aspects of international relations: the need to recognize the rights and privileges of the diplomats and the need to regulate them according to the social, economic and cultural trends. The other aspect is recognizing that the diplomats are the representatives of the states and must be accredited to acknowledge the government, and they should not assert immunity that is not paramount to the performance of their official responsibilities. The other consideration is the acknowledgment of the essence of the consular officer or the state represented to renounce diplomatic relations when touching upon a civil matter wholly foreign to the accomplishment of his/her duty (Alexander, 2011). On the other hand, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations stipulates the privileges of a foreign officer. The rights enable him/her to carry on with their duties and responsibilities without the fear of compulsion or harassment by the host nation.

The Vienna Convention has two optional protocols, one relating to the Acquisition of Nationality and the other one on the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes (Quigley, 2013). The Havana Convention has no optional protocols. Another significant difference is that the articles of the Vienna Convention are considered as a foundation of modern international relations while the provisions of the Vienna Congress formed the basis of the UN’s operational foundation. The Vienna Convention is a broad document containing 53 Articles; the Havana Convention and the Regulation of 1815 documents are very narrow and contain few articles. The Vienna Convention is the most successful and renowned treaty globally, and its impact is felt even today. The Havana and Vienna Congress rules were outshined by the Vienna Convention.    In both the Vienna and the Havana Conventions there were formal meetings and delegates from both nations attended. In the Vienna Congress, on the contrary, there were no formal meetings and discussions involved, only the great powers. There were also no plenary sessions and formal settings.

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While the Vienna Congress formed a framework for other conventions, including the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the Vienna Covenant has been used in the formulation of other treaties such as the New York Convention of 1969 (Quigley, 2013).

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